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The Battle of Nirim – The Battle of Dangur

Shalom Dangur

A Iraqi Jewish philanthropist who visited Palestine five times between 1899 -1914. He purchased the land in the Negev upon which Kibbutz Nirim was originally founded. The site was called Dangur. The Nirim (Dangur) Monument is located here.

Kibbutz Nirim

Kibbutz Nirim was founded in June 1946 as part of the “11 points in the Negev” initiative. Kibbutz Nirim was initially founded on the Dangur lands, where Kibbut Sufa lies today. Nirim was located in close proximity to the new border and also to the coastal road which was the Egyptian army’s main path of advance. After the Israel War of Independence, it was moved twelve km to the north east.

Model of Kibbutz Nirim
Model of Kibbutz Nirim

The Battle of Nirim/Dangur

May 14, 1948 was the day of the Declaration of Independence of the new Jewish State. The following day, May 15, 1948 was the first day of the invasion of Israel by neighboring Arab states: Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Sudan and Morocco. Nirim was attacked immediately by the Egyptians because it blocked the main road to the north of Israel. The kibbutz was first Jewish settlement in Israel to be attacked by the Egyptian army. Seven Israeli soldiers were killed in the battle. The Egyptians killed in action were about 30–35. All of the buildings of Nirim were wholly or partially destroyed. Nirim remained in constant Israeli control until the end of the war. The Battle of Nirim became the paradigm of the valor and obstinacy with which Israelis defend our country. This battle bought precious time so that arms could be brought into the new country and until the IDF could be organized and its soldiers trained to use those arms.

The Nirim (Dangur) Monument

A monument to the fallen at Nirim is located on the site of the village, near Kibbutz Sufa. It incorporates two symbols of the battle: the Safety House and the sign that had been displayed in the dining hall two weeks earlier in the May Day celebrations, reading “Not the tank will prevail, but the man”.



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